Archive for the ‘Weekend Cooking’ Category
Judy got the new oven and last weekend, we installed it. So my first test was small, roasted garlic, but 2 nights ago, I made a Short-Rib Ragu.
Sorry, I had no fettuccine in the pantry, so I resorted to penne.
Yes, this is Ragu in the northern Italian tradition, versus what we get in the North American stores – vegetable base with little to no meat.
- 3-4 lb Short Ribs (English Cut)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 oz Pancetta, thick slice
- 1 Onion, Chopped
- 1 Carrot, Chopped
- 2c Mushrooms Sliced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Large
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Green Tabsco
- 1/2c Vermouth
- 1 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatos
- Add olive oil to dutch oven-pot
- Heat pot on stove to medium
- Cut off exterior fat off ribs
- Brown ribs as individual ribs (and remove)
- After browning is complete and ribs removed, reduce heat
- Add pancetta and onion, stir and ensure onions are well oiled
- Add onions soften, add celery, mushroom and garlic
- Cook for 15-30 minutes, occasionally mixing
- Add tomato paste and tabsco.
- Turn to medium-high
- Add wine
- Remove any bits off bottom
- Add tomatoes
- Bring to simmer
- Remove off stove
- Add in meat and juices
- If necessary, add stock to cover ribs
- Add a parchment, such that it is just above the ragu
- Bake in Oven at 275F
- Turn every 45 minutes
- Add stock to cover ribs, if necessary
- Skim fat, if necessary
- Cook until meat falls off bones (typically 3+ hrs)
- Remove from oven, set aside for 15+ minutes
- Remove meat and set aside
- If necessary, use wood spoon to break up tomoatoes
- If serving that day, keep sauce warm on stove
- When meat is cool enough to handle,
- Remove meat from bones
- Dispose of any fat
- Break into bite size chunks
- Return meat to pot
Good for 3 days and may be frozen for future pasta dishes. You can make it a sandwich out of it or as Judy prefers, eat it with Mash Potatoes.
I recently tried another variant, but the following soup has subtle complex and complimentary tastes with orange, ginger, curry and cream that it remains my favourite.
- 5 cups Chicken Stock
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 1 Onion, Coarsely Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Ginger, Minced
- 1/2 Tsp Curry (free to adjust to taste and the curry you have)
- 1c Orange Juice
- 1.5 lbs Carrots, Chopped.
- 1/2c Cream, Heavy.
- At medium to low heat, add butter into 1/4 c stock into your soup pot
- Melt the butter.
- Add onion, ginger and curry.
- Cook until tender, 10+ minutes.
- Add reminder of stock.
- Add orange juice.
- Add carrots.
- Bring to boil.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add cream.
- Good for 3 days.
- Add Croutons when serving.
There are so many different curries, but pick your favourite or experiment. With the Ginger and Orange, the flavours hint of South-East Asia, but some of the curries from the Madras (or Garam Masalas) can be a good pick to. Just remember, the idea is blending a complex set of flavours and not create a “hot” soup.
Despite the title, the key ingredient of any New-England style Seafood Chowder is Bacon. So do not skip on the bacon, and use your favourite Bacon or Pancetta, as it compliments the clams; otherwise the chowder lacks it hearty meat taste that makes it a winter favourite. What is my favourite bacon, Danish Style Bacon from Dundas Ontario’s Country Meat Packaging.
As this does not go through a blender or food processor, remember to chop your meat and vegetables to portions that you want on the soup spoon.
Best done in a dutch oven on a stove.
- 12-24 small red-skin potatoes – chopped
- 12 slices of bacon – sliced in thin sections
- 1 large onion- chopped
- 4-8 tablespoons of flour
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1-2 kg of cod or haddock
- 2 10 oz cans of Cloverleaf Baby Clams
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup of table cream (18% fat)
- 36 mussels – steam them before. I usually remove the shells.
- 12 Small Stone Clams. Clean and with cooks with shells.
- In Pot 1 > Boil Potatoes in lightly salted water – cook, but still firm (10 minutes?). Drain and set aside when complete.
- In Dutch Oven > Fry bacon until soft and lightly cook.
- Add onion, and cook until translucent.
- Add flour to create a fine covering and absorb all fat juices.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Add Baby Clams and Juices. Can add in the optional mussels and Stone Clams.
- Add milk, cream and butter.
- Add potatoes
- Add fish.
- Add salt to taste.
- Do not let it boil.
- Ready in fish is cooked minutes,
- You can add in Shrimp, but shrimp becomes rubbery if kept in a soup over night.
- Soup is good for 2 days.
- With quality seafood, this is not a cheap soup (seafood here in central Ontario is not cheap).
- A traditional hard crust bread goes great with the soup.
As I continue to move my recipes off my “smart-phone”, so I can cook with my iPad in the kitchen, here is my summer vegetable soup, adapt from the Joy of Cooking.
Provencal Vegetable Soup
Ingredients – adjust to desire
* Olive Oil
* 1 Onion, Chopped.
* 1 Garlic Clove Minced
* 2 Leeks, Chopped.
* 2-6 Thin Carrots, Peeled and Chopped.
* 2-4 Tomatoes, Skinned, Seed & Chopped.
* 4-8 Small Red (or White) Potatoes, Quartered.
* 8c Chicken Stock.
* 1/2c Black Beans, Rised
* Orzo Pasta.
* 1 Small Zucchini, Slice.
* 1 1/2c Green Beans, 1″ Pieces.
* Parmesan Cheese.
* Warm oil in Dutch Oven on Stove at medium heat.
* Add in Onion, Garlic, Leeks, Garlic, and Carrots; then reduce heat to low
* Cook till tender, 20+ minutes.
* Add in Tomatoes and Potatoes.
* Stir and watch tomatoes infuse (5 minutes)
* Add stock and bring to simmer.
* Cook until potatoes are tender (12 minutes)
* Add in Beans, Zucchini, Orzo and Basil.
* Simmer until the pasta is tender.
* Remove the soup from the heat.
* When serving, add slivers of Parmesan Cheese.
* Keeps for 3 days.
Oh yes,Orzo is the most under-rated Pasta there is!
A christmas tradition that has spanned 2 decades has been making cheesecake for the fests! The requests typically focus on Chocolate or Mocha. Here is a simple and very good Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, from my cheesecake reference book – The Joy of Cheeesecale from Bovbjerg and Iggers. This book is also a revelation, in that did not just provide recipes, but also a discussion of cooking mechanics and chemistry.
- 5 oz (squares) of SemiSweet Chocolate
- 1.5 lbs of Cream Cheese (3 Blocks of Philly)
- 3/4 c Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1 c Sour Cream
- In Oven place pan of water.
- Preheat Oven to 275F
- Melt Chocolate in Double Boiler.
- Mix *well* Cream Cheese ad Sugar, until mixture is light.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- Stir in chocolate and sour cream.
- Pour in pan with prepared crust – either graham wafers or oreo crumbs.
- Quickly plcae into the oven.
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Turn off oven and let it cool in the oven.
- Next day, add Chocolate shavings the next day.
Two of my favourite things about summer is fresh corn and vegetable soups. On hot summer days, it is Gazpacho Soup.
- 1 Cucumber, Peeled, Seeded
1 Green Pepper, Seeded
2.5lbs Tomatoes, Peeled & Seeded
1c Tomato Juice
1/4c Red Wine Vinegar, alternative is Rice Wine Vingear
3 Tbsp Olive Oil (the best oil you have on the shelf)
2 Garlic Cloves.
1/2 Jalapeno, seeded. Alternative is a Popano
- Finely chop the cucumber, onion, parsley and green pepper.
- Add to final serving bowl.
- Finely chop ripe tomatoes.
- Add to bowl.
- Add in vinegar.
- Add in olive oil.
- Add in garlic.
- Add in jalapeno.
- Add in tomato juice.
- Stir well
- Refrigerate for next day.
Coffee with this morning’s bolied bagel, by Judy.
So Tesla (the daughter) is doing her final year thesis (marketing and advertising) on Fleischmann’s Yeast. Her research involves baking up a storm and we benefited during the Christmas holidays, as she made us croissants and bagels. The croissants were nice, but the bagels were fabulous (IMHO). Last night Judy started a new set of bagels and again we are feasting on fabulous bagels. I will no longer be able to buy store stocked bagels again.
Not difficult, but does require patience.